Holocaust Survivors, Families, Preview New Project


ABOVE: Seated, Holocaust Center staff member Irvin Moreno-Rodriguez (rear) and recent graduate George Quinn interview Holocaust survivor Sonia Kaplan and Izzy May, the child of Holocaust survivors Paula and Louis May at the Intergenerational Brunch at the Jewish Community Center in Margate. BELOW: Michael Hayse talks about the project. Stockton graduate students Brianna Doherty and Chris Cuneo, staff member Matthew Assad, Andrew and Sam Fajerman, children of Holocaust survivors, and undergraduate student Dan Torba.

Margate, N.J. – Area Holocaust survivors and their families got a preview of the Stockton University Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center’s “Holocaust Survivors of South Jersey Project” at an intergenerational brunch hosted by the Milton & Betty Katz Jewish Community Center on June 12.

holocaust-brunch-hayseAssociate Professor of History Michael Hayse said the project started in 2020 when the Holocaust Resource Center staff realized there was not a central database to track the Holocaust survivors of South Jersey.

“A database will be an important resource for future generations looking to learn about our local history,” Hayse said.

Holocaust Center Executive Director Gail Rosenthal said the project, which will publicly launch in September, includes the work of center staff Irvin Moreno-Rodriguez and Matthew Assad along with some 300 graduate and undergraduate students at Stockton who have interviewed Holocaust survivors and their families and help set up the interactive database.

holocaust-brunch-studentsThe project documents the life stories of Jewish Holocaust survivors who lived in Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties. The center has, to date, identified 1,474 survivors, and continues to update and expand the database.

Holocaust Center staff and students attended the event, which also gave Holocaust survivors and their families the opportunity to review their data for the database, and add new information.

“We are still hearing from people who are just learning about the project,” Rosenthal said.

The brunch was co-sponsored by the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center and the Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage of Stockton University in Woodbine.

More information is available from the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center at Stockton University at 609-652-4699.

- Story by Diane D'Amico. Photos by Vernon Ogrodnek